June 19, 2024
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Delhi’s IGI Airport likely to be get body, CTX scanners for passengers, cabin bags by May

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport is set to become the first Indian airport to deploy full-body scanners and computer tomography X-ray (CTX) scanners, potentially installed by May 2024, according to Zulfiqar Hassan, the Director General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). These scanners, already in use at numerous global airports, aim to enhance passenger screening efficiency compared to metal detectors and manual frisking. The CTX scanners, designed for cabin or carry-on baggage screening, eliminate the need for passengers to separate electronic devices and liquids during the screening process. The combined use of these machines is expected to expedite security checks, reducing congestion and wait times at busy airports.

Earlier directives from BCAS had mandated airports handling over 1 crore passengers annually to install full-body scanners and those handling 50 lakh passengers to install CTX scanners by December 31. However, delays related to “provisioning issues” have pushed the expected installation date to May, starting with IGI Airport. The IGI Airport, operated by GMR, is India’s busiest airport, having handled over 6.5 crore passengers in FY23, with an estimated 7 crore passengers for FY24. The airport is also undergoing expansion to increase its annual passenger handling capacity to over 10 crore. Airports Council International (ACI) ranked Delhi Airport as the tenth busiest in the world for 2022.

To address delays caused by procurement challenges and supply chain issues, BCAS plans to proceed airport-wise rather than setting a blanket deadline for scanner installations. Airport operators are acquiring these machines through contracts with foreign manufacturers. Some airports had requested deadline reconsideration, citing ongoing decisions regarding CTX scanner requirements and installation modalities. Previous deadlines for full-body scanners had lapsed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With air passenger traffic in India surpassing pre-pandemic levels, there’s a heightened urgency to promptly install these scanners at congested airports.

According to passenger traffic data from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), seven airports handled over 1 crore passengers in FY23, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. Airports with passenger numbers between 50 lakh and 1 crore in FY23 included Goa, Lucknow, Guwahati, Kochi, and Pune.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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